A Change of Direction

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth. Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms. In this image we can clearly see a major change in wind regimes. The classic yardang form occupies the top of the image. These older yardangs were formed by a NW/SE wind regime. The younger, smaller yardangs are forming in the rest of the image from a NE/SW wind. The age relationshipis readily visible at the intersection area, where the large yardangs are being cut crosswise into NE/SW aligned forms.The top framelet of this image has vertical black/white lines caused by charge on the camera CCD.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V06236001 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2003-05-11 14:02
Wed, 2004-07-21
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (64 km)
0.01759 km/pixel
0.017718 km/pixel


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